Let Him Go by Larry Watson

Let Him Go by Larry Watson
Publication Date: September 2013
Categories: Family Life, Literary, Suspense
The celebrated author of Montana 1948 (over 400,000 copies sold) returns to the American West in this riveting tale of familial love and its unexpected consequences.
Dalton, North Dakota. It’s September 1951: years since George and Margaret Blackledge lost their son James when he was thrown from a horse; months since his widow Lorna took off with their only grandson and married Donnie Weboy. Margaret is steadfast, resolved to find and retrieve her grandson Jimmy — the one person in this world keeping James’s memory alive — while George, a retired sheriff, is none too eager to stir up trouble. Unable to sway his wife from her mission, George takes to the road with Margaret by his side, traveling through the Dakota badlands to Gladstone, Montana. When Margaret tries to convince Lorna to return home to North Dakota and bring little Jimmy with her, the Blackledges find themselves entangled with the entire Weboy clan, who are determined not to give up the boy without a fight. From the author who brought us Montana 1948Let Him Go is pitch-perfect, gutsy, and unwavering. Larry Watson is at his storytelling finest in this unforgettable return to the American West.

My Thoughts:

Have I been living under a rock? That seems to be the case because this was the first time I’ve read Larry Watson. What a complete shame. The good thing about discovering a new-to-me author? Backlist!
Margaret Blackledge is such an intriguing character. She’s fierce. She’s stubborn. She’s the kind of woman that I’d like to be when I grow up. 
Let Him Go is startling and rugged. The story is spare without a single wasteful word. The suspense was sensational and the ending was completely unexpected. Lucid prose and fantastic characters made this a compulsively readable novel.
If Mr. Watson’s other books are as straightforward and precise as Let Him Go I’m in for a treat. I can’t wait to add more of his works to my collection.
About Larry Watson
An interview with Larry Watson

47 thoughts on “Let Him Go by Larry Watson

  1. I've never heard of this author, but now I'm so intrigued. I feel like this book could be a bit heart-wrenching. Were there tears involved?


  2. So we have to be neighbours under that rock, because it's the first time I see a book of this author.I see you have enjoyed it very much, so it goes straight to my list. I love well developed suspense!


  3. It's not just you, Jen! Never heard of this author. Is his work anything like Ivan Doig's? Anyway, nice review and like the use of links for the bio and including an interview with the author. 🙂


  4. Oh, I completely agree! This was my first Larry Watson book, too. Very spare writing, and an amazing knack of painting characters perfectly with just a few sentences. Did it remind you at all of Kent Haruf, but a bit more brutal? It sure did for me, but I'm not sure how much of that has to do with the characterizations and how much is part of those high plains scenes.


  5. Haha, yeah, I'm with you and the others under that rock since I've never heard of him either! Westerns aren't really my thing, but an impressive female lead is appealing, so I'll keep this in mind if I decide to try the genre 🙂


  6. I think I've been living under that rock with you, because… Well yeah. I'm embarrassed by how little I know sometimes. I'm glad I have you to make all the discoveries though! Extra eyes out in bookland. Together, we shall conquer ALL THE BOOKS! (Probably not, but \”SOME OF THE BOOKS\” isn't nearly as good a battle cry.)


  7. I totally want to read his stuff now – I LOVE SPARE WRITING, especially when it manages to pull itself off beautifully. And hahaha yeah, it's so exciting to find a \”new\” established author and just gorge oneself on all the previous titles. Teehee! Enjoy!!!


  8. PS – Did you get this as a physical book or an e-book? Because my experience with Milkweed (so far) has been a physical book and oh.my.word was that one LOVELY LOVELY book to hold. The pages felt good, the cover was beautiful, just everything.


  9. YES! Are we two of the only bloggers who have read Watson? I'm so glad the publisher sent me this. To be honest I probably wouldn't have grabbed it off the shelf on my own. I'm looking forward to reading more of his books 🙂


  10. I guess we've been living in similar circumstances (under rocks). I recognize the title Montana 1948 but can't say I paid attention to the author. Will have to give him a go!


  11. My first exposure to Watson, too. Let Him Go was a very good modern Western. Loved how the main characters exchanged motivation. I'll read him again. Keep the good reviews coming.


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